BLACKSBURG, Va. – Virginia Tech University is planning to grow and become more global, according to university president Tim Sands.
On Friday, Sands delivered the annual state of the university address. Soon after he started speaking, Sands was interrupted by protesters. But after they were escorted out, he continued with his address.
He celebrated the top rankings the university has received for value and the student experience, but mostly focused on the future and how the university can improve.
"I think Virginia Tech has been visioning its future for the last couple of years, and we really have a clear vision of where we want to head," said Sands.
Growth was one of the main topics in Sands' address. Specifically, the university wants to have 30,000 undergraduates by the year 2023 and add 400 new faculty positions over the next eight years.
"I feel confident we'll be able to make it all work. It takes resources and it can't be wishful thinking, you have to be confident that those resources can be acquired," said Sands.
Sands spoke about the university's "Beyond Boundaries" vision. The goal is to create a more inclusive and diverse campus. Sands says he wants to attract more students and faculty from different cultures and meet more milestones dealing with diversity.
"We talk to CEOs and the companies that hire our students and they say we want your students to have broader experiences on campus," said Sands.
Sands also spoke about the Virginia Tech and Carilion partnership. The plan is for the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine to become Virginia Tech's ninth college by 2019. The partnership between Carilion and Virginia Tech will still stand.